Gadget Boy: Meet the 11-year-old entrepreneur

Photo: Nikki Heath / Wanaka Sun

Eleven-year-old Louis Bickerstaff, from Cromwell, has created a custom paracord survival bracelet which is now on sale in three locations.

The survival bracelet includes a flint, compass, whistle, and 2.3m of cord which can hold a weight of up to 250kg.

The bracelets, which are all handmade, take roughly 30 minutes to make and so far he has managed to construct 1000.

The youngster was inspired while living in Adelaide, Australia, where he saw a similar design and thought he could adapt the product.

“In Australia, I had a friend who made bracelets and sold them at the markets,” Louis said.

“I thought it was a cool idea so I went on my iPad and found a better bracelet.

“I buy clip and rope and weave them together.”

Louis taught himself to weave the lightweight bracelets, which made their first appearance in the Cromwell summer markets.

Louis started the project with help from his parents but he is now starting to “keep himself afloat” according to dad Craig.

Pictured: Louis Bickerstaff

Although the youngster is busy with school, rugby and making bracelets, he still has time to make jokes.

“Mum and dad sometimes help, but usually they stand around [at the markets] and spend my money,” he said.

Over winter, Louis will make the bracelets and add a handwritten note with a description of his product, with the aim of selling them at Queenstown’s lakefront markets next summer.

The bracelets are currently on sale in a range of colours at Southern Wild in Wanaka, Otago Sports in Alexandra and Paper Plus in Cromwell.

In the future, we can expect more creations but according to Louis, “It’s a secret for now.”


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